Below is the current list of Performers for the 2018 Festival.
Please note: The National Folk Festival and its Director reserve the right to alter the program and the acts as circumstances deem necessary.
"Ask for forgiveness not for permission. No rules, no limits. The closest to punk the Blues will ever get. Raucous and manic." 19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene. They are electric. An infectious riff and groove based blue-billy-grass-rockin'-roots band.
Afro Moses is an international multi award-winning artist from Ghana, West Africa. With his diverse band, he delivers a vibrant, high-energy show, creating a fusion of styles from across the globe - including African, reggae, funk and more that will get you jumping and leave you wanting more.
Aine Tyrrell's music is a contemporary folk collision between the Ireland of generations gone, and the hope of tomorrow. Her songs are as honest as an old friend, warm and inviting, managing somehow to fuse melodies over rhythms which transport you directly to her homeland.
Twenty-year old singer/songwriter Alice Skye is an exciting emergence in the Indigenous pop scene. Her original songs sparkle with a sensitivity and maturity well beyond her years, accompanied by gentle and hauntingly sparse melodies of a piano score. Alice's voice is a combination of hopeful and haunting, naturally sweet and slow and dreamlike.
All Our Exes Live in Texas is a fantasy draft of Sydney's finest singer-songwriters - Elana Stone, Katie Wighton, Hannah Crofts and Georgia Mooney, here combining in four-part indie-folk heaven. A powerhouse of harmonies, charm and songwriting prowess, the Exes are truly the most badass girl folk group ever.
The Alleycats, a community choir of all breeds and stalks of life who love to sing their hearts out and share the joy of music. This group of feral, free ranging felines will inspire, singing music founded in the folklore of all nations, showing its richness, diversity, and caring.
Australia's favourite family puppet show returns to the Nash in 2017. The Amazing Drumming Monkeys Show combines a unique blend of puppetry, live music, comedy, and heart warming themes, to deliver a fun filled interactive show for the whole family.
Originating from Europe, the twins Josef and Jan developed their sound in Melbourne, Australia. Since relocating to Melbourne in 2012 the duo has released two EP's and their debut album "Parley" in 2016 which saw them embark on a number of Australian and European tours.
Described by reviewers as "riddled with satire", his poetry is gut, direct, and imagination and reality meeting to eat and fight. Showcased at events including the Woodford and Queensland Poetry festivals, and Chicago's Uptown Poetry Slam, his verse appears in national and international journals.
Singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and raconteur Andy Irvine has been "one of the towering talents on the international folk scene" (Sydney Morning Herald) for more than forty years. He is "Often mimicked, never equaled" (Irish Times). Luke Plumb, a stunning multi-instrumentalist was awarded the Declan Affley "Best Rising Talent" Award nearly twenty years ago.
Karen Kyriakou along with Deaf choir leader Trudy Fraser will lead an all-inclusive session of signed song, delving into the expressive world of Auslan (Australian Sign Language). No previous signing experience is necessary and these sessions will suit both the skilled and the curious.
The Australian Morris Ring is delighted to present our uniquely Australian adaptation of the old English tradition of Morris Dancing. Australian Morris represents many forms of traditional English Morris dancing, including Cotswold, North-West, Border, and sword dancing.
BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! - Poetry and Performance Productions, crams whatever they can into one show under one tent. Sign-up for the Poetry Slam, watch festival acts battle for supremacy at Cabaret of Conflict, decide the future of poetry at Bush Poetry versus All Other Poetry.
Balkanski Bus is a multi-ethnic group which plays traditional Balkan (Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Rumanian), Greek, Turkish and Romany music, both songs and dance tunes, in authentic style on a range of traditional and electric instruments.
The Beamish Boys’ passion for singing and songwriting started in their garage and landed them in front of international audiences. Brothers Jeremy and Ben combine an authentic blend of harmony with fresh songwriting as their signature style. ""Young, passionate and driven, one thing is certain, the Beamish Boys are definitely ones to watch."" – Highlife Magazine
Somewhere between an Italian wedding band and a French revolution, Bella Donna Gorgonzola knows how to start a party in eight languages. These playful paisanos perform a mix of youthful favourites and drinking hits that delight audiences of all ages.
My personal find of the festival – Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin play like no-one else you’ve ever heard. Their music is breathtaking and wickedly inventive and the between-tunes interchange as intelligent and hilarious as the music. But don’t let me give you the impression they’re a lightweight comedy act: they finish the set with a haunting piece of oboe and accordion magic which has the audience spellbound.’ BBC Radio 2 Mike Harding Show online, reviewing Sidmouth Festival
Belswagger Morris is the oldest active Morris side in Queensland, performing dances mostly from the Cotswold tradition. Based in Brisbane, with members from all walks of life, Belswagger proudly keeps the Morris tradition alive, honouring the old English ways and forging a path into the future.
Benji and the Saltwater Sound System draws upon Benjiäó»s recent immersion in islander flavours and fuse these with the jazz, reggae and African roots of its members past musical projects to create hypnotic soundscapes underpinned by painfully catchy melodies. Add to this the beautifully poignant lyrics that Benji has become known for and you can't help but expect something special from
The Black Swans of Trespass play forbidden banjo music. It is the vehicle in which Australian banjo iconoclast CC Thornley breaks all the rules about banjo. Funky, soulful, with a swampy, punky edge and rich Mento/Jamaican core, the BSoT takes to the stage with charisma and defiance. They will make you dance, love and rebel.
Blackberry Jam has performed for the delight of people all ages for the past 25 years! Be ready for an abundance of energy, expertise and fun as they take the stage at this year's NFF. On stage, at a dance or at the KidzFest, you'll be tapping your toes to some of Australia's finest bush music.
Borderline Kaylee is a vibrant group showcasing a range of Australian Folk and Celtic music. They perform a variety of traditional and original songs and tunes, often putting a twist to old favourites. Energetic and lively, Borderline Kaylee is an experienced dance band fun or all ages!
The Bottlers, a hard-playing, nine piece, all-acoustic folk punk band, draws life blood from the traditional rural reaches of the nation as well as its cityscapes.
Brandragon is a Morris dance team in the English North-West style. It is traditional to dance in wooden clogs worn by the workers of the day and each dance is influenced by a particular English village. Brandragon comes from Melbourne, Victoria and wears a red and green "kit".
Voted 'Folk Band of the Year' & 'Album of the year' at the 2016 Scots Trad Music Awards and twice nominated 'Best Band' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Scottish Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene.
Presenters, artists and listeners get together to talk about the folk music we hear on radio. The Broadcasters' Forum is facilitated by Bruce Cameron, producer and presenter of 'Come All Ye' on 2MCE-FM community radio since 1976.
Re-imagining trad Australian folk music until the unfashionable is transformed into rebellious beauty. Favourites of the UK art- folk scene, awarded runner-up Roots album of the year and a 5 Star review in BBC Music Magazine.
The Bush Traditions Concert presents stories, music and song from Australia's cultural heritage.
The 'Settler sessions' are led by musicians with many years of experience playing Australia's traditional dance music. The sessions feature music of Australia's settlers and their descendants presented in an informal and approachable style. Bring an instrument and play along or just sit and listen.
The Button Collective is a high-energy travelling folk band. Their music combines new Australian stories with elements from traditional Irish folk songs and tunes, spiced with the spirit of fast-paced American old-timey music, and with a very personal delivery from songwriter Brodie Buttons.
CARA tour worldwide with their unique interpretations of Celtic music. Their sound is firmly rooted in the Irish and Scottish tradition yet their innovative arrangements even of well-known material sets them apart and make them instantly recognizable. Their own exciting compositions have received wide critical acclaim.
Cat and Clint will have you mesmerized by sweet harmonies and dancing and hollering to old time fiddle and banjo. They hail from Blackwood, Vic - one of the big Old Time Bluegrass hotspots of Australia. Clint's original songs are featured as well as a traditional ballad, fiddle tunes and vintage country blues.
Formed in 2007, the Melbourne-based group performs a selection of Welsh folk dances from the 17th century to modern times. The dances range from sedate court dances to high-energy fair dances, jigs and reels. Audiences love the delightfulness of Welsh dance music.
Sensuous, cinematic, irresistibly danceable: Sydney sextet Chaika’s music is a rich tapestry of spine-tingling vocal harmonies and exhilarating instrumentals, drawing influence from the Balkans and jazz. “It is easy to be enchanted” - The Australian, “Mesmerising… Extraordinary” - Fine Music FM
Winners of the 2017 National Folk Festival Gill Rees Young Musician's Memorial Award, Melbourne teen sisters Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes, Charm of Finches, make entrancing folk music with their sublime harmonies and songs about heartbreak, solitude and whispering trees. Their debut album "Staring at the Starry Ceiling" has been praised nationally.
For over 20 years Chloe & Jason have presented songs and poems of the kitchens, verandah, shearers' huts, and local pubs – and the yarns that go with them. Now Bill Browne, Baz Cooper and Matt Nightingale add their exceptional talents to the cutting-edge arrangements of Australian traditional music and poetry.
The Chordwainers play elegant instruments by world-renowned leather sculptor, Garry Greenwood. Influenced by an eclectic mix of world music and years of exploring, we've captured our discoveries in original songs: whimsical, seductive, raucous, jazzy or straight.
Here is a treat for dancers! The last time this trio of Scottish fiddle, piano and double bass played for the Scottish Ball at the National they blew dance pumps off with their powerful rhythm and Scottish music groove. Back for more fun, these well respected dance musicians and three of Australia's leading Scottish Country Dance musicians, have become festival favourites.
A not-to-be-missed duo! “The undisputed queens of British female folk duos [Chris Whiles & Julie Matthews] continue to come up with the goods, first class songs delivered with to die for harmonies, immaculate musicianship and melodies that lodge themselves in your brain” – The UK Guardian
Chrysoula K. & Purpura wish to combine elements of tradition with classical forms in order to bring up a new sound reality, nostalgic, vivid, playful and airy. With compositions and covers influenced both by the East and the West, Chrysoula K. & Purpura create a mozaik, continuing the endless dialog between the four cardinal points of the horizon.
Circus Hokum – the big show featuring Australia's best circus artists! Not For Kids Kids Show – Strictly 18+, this crowd favourite returns with all new artists and all new (nude) acts. Circus Death Match – participate or watch, this interactive show is a series of circus-inspired games and contests.
Claire Anne Taylor crafts soulful folk songs that capture both the beautiful and dark elements of the human experience. With vivid storytelling, colossal vocals and a powerfully captivating stage presence, her live shows leave the audience in no doubt that they have just witnessed something extraordinary.
With spine-tingling harmonies, charming storytelling and humour, Co-cheòl have a rare ability to evoke a gamut of emotions from laughter to tears. These audacious women perform traditional Scottish, Irish and original music, traversing both a cappella and accompanied songs with sublime musicianship.
Col was an excellent singer and musician, accompanying himself on banjo and guitar and occasionally melodeon. He also played Australian and Scottish music in a number of bands. We aim to present Col's music through both recordings and live performance.
Come Try Unicycling – an enthusiastic team specialising in infecting beginners of all ages with the Unicycling bug. But watch out it's very hard to shake once you've got it!
An intimate, audio-visual concert of music, song and dance which brings alive the nature, scope and history of Irish Traditional music with top performers playing against a backing flow of 800 superb, large-screen photographic images of linked music-people and scenery.
Graham Seal and Rob and Olya Willis have been bringing Australian folklore to life for decades with their themed, presentations, concerts and workshops. Graham is Professor of Folklore at Curtin University and Rob and Olya have been associated with the National Library of Australia (NLA) for over 30 years. All are noted performers and multi-instrumentalists. Their productions are supported by The National Library of Australia.
Damian Howard celebrates a brand new album, Ned, which includes new interpretations and original-penned songs that celebrate the life and times of one of Australia's most notable historical figures, Ned Kelly. With a huge body of songwriting behind him as a solo artist and with his band The Ploughboys Damian's songwriting features his own take on life and stories of Australia's colourful history and characters which continue to shine through his live performances.
'Daniel Champagne is a crossroads. Fusing the strong traditions of blues, folk, and other roots arts with pop showmanship, virtuoso guitar and phenomenal lyrical ability' The Indie Blender, Toronto
Daniel J. Townsend was born on a tiny island on the edge of the world, the descendant of a convict girl and her employer. Poet, folk musician and dilettante historian, he has been singing stories ever since. "Incredible" (Inside Sleeve).
The vibrant music and dance heritage of Darwin's multicultural community remains as strong today as it did in the 1930s. The cultural melting pot of the Top End attracted people from the world over, especially from Asia and the Torres Strait. The Darwin Rondalla continue this musical tradition.
The son of an ex jazz trumpeter dentist, David ditched geology to fail at jazz college to take up washboard to join The Waifs over a Port Fairy Guinness. A tunesmith, guitarist, songwriter and teller of tall tales from the road less travelled but long toured, he is an acoustic amalgam of late '60s English folk and late ‘70s Brit punk pop who lives off-grid between Australia and Canada.
The Davidson Brothers are considered two of Australia's most highly driven and well-respected bluegrass musicians. Raised in Gippsland, the boys have entertained crowds across the US, Europe, appeared at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and toured their band extensively across Australia.
One of six daughters of the lead singer of Yothu Yindi, Dr Yunupingu, Dhapanbal is forging her own way in the music industry with her contemporary works sung in English and Yolngu Matha.
Award-winning American cowboy poet presents classic and original verse, ranging from off-the-wall to deep in the heart. Wordsmith extraordinaire and committed Australiaphile.
Buckle up and take a trip in a giant time machine to get up close and personal with a life sized T-Rex! Dinosaur Time Machine incorporates up to date science and discoveries made about dinosaurs, incorporating circus and puppetry in this unique educational theatre production.
The Dividing Range Dancers from the ACT and NSW have an enduring interest in the dances of early Australia, including dances from the convict era, pastoral expansion, gold rushes and the growing cities. This year they have collaborated to present a program featuring dances from the southern states.
Once described by a hernia expert on ABC radio as "better than rap", The Drowsy Maggies are an all-female folk super group. Winners of the 2016 Gill Rees Memorial Award and the 2017 Peter J Daly Memorial Award these girls delight audiences around Australia with their stunning harmony-filled original songs, cracking original tune sets and swinging bass.
Discover why Dru Yoga is so effective as a tool for transformation. De-stress with fun activations and a soothing energy block release sequence. Then stretch and energise through uplifting yoga poses that will increase your health and well-being, followed by a rejuvenating relaxation.
Easter Sunday is a most important date in the Christian calendar. Join us for music, poetry, Bible readings, worship, prayers and singing. Children are especially welcome.
A Canberra based Blues duo, Electric Tommy Johnston bring old school Blues back into the spotlight. Tackling Delta to Gospel, Mississippi to Jazz, slide, finger picked and smooth electric to create a high energy modern trip through the roots of one of the worlds greatest folk traditions.
Recently nominated as Live Act of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2016, fiery highland five-piece Elephant Sessions are a musical power house, welding weapons grade grooves and guitar attack with quicksilver fiddle/mandolin melodies.
Madis Alvre instructed the Sydney Estonian folk dancers 'Virmalised' for 33 years, until 2014. He has also organised, choreographed and directed dance performances for folk and Estonian cultural festivals in Australia. Madis and his wife Tiina continue to lead folk and social dance workshops and host Nordic social dance afternoons.
Branko Ristic, predicted by UK Roots to become 'one of the leading Roma Violinists of the century', has joined with Faith Ristic - a highly charismatic and virtuosic UK accordionist - to compose and perform a style that draws from each of their musical heritages and expresses their unique personal connection.
Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone. Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Dave Johnson is known for organising folk events and for his special knack of bringing musicians together and melding them into bands, large and small. His passion is playing old and recently composed bush dance tunes and and bush songs and encouraging others to appreciate them too.
Join musicians from all around the country in the Festival Bush Orchestra and share the joy of playing collected tunes in four-part arrangements. Under the baton/stockwhip of Dave Johnson you will be surprised at the magic, the warmth and the sheer fun.
The Festival Fiddle Rally provides an opportunity for fiddlers from all over to create "fiddle magic" together. Sets of Celtic-based tunes will be rehearsed (three rehearsals) and played at the final concert of the Festival.
Our multi-gendered side cavorts brazenly festooned in the glorious colours of the Jacarandas and Silky Oaks of our native Northern Rivers of NSW. With an impeccable pedigree reaching back to the renaissance of OZ Morris, we further the ancient traditions of Cotswold and Border Morris with energy, enthusiasm and a profound love of absurdity.
Renowned Scottish singer Fiona Ross joins forces with ex-Steelye Span guitar maestro Ken Nicol to deliver a captivating set of traditional Scots songs. An esteemed tradition bearer, Fiona’s singing conveys depth, understanding & commitment. Her strong, honest style & wide repertoire showcase the richness & diversity of the Scots song tradition.
Inspired by Tomás Dietz's passion, technique and emphasis on genuine expression in performance, the Flamenco Centre dancers will share this complex and demanding dance with nuances firmly rooted in the Spanish culture.
Flats and Sharps are a young five-piece high-energy contemporary Bluegrass band, from Cornwall, England, known for their own highly original songs as well as their blistering renditions of Bluegrass classics. They have come a long way from their humble beginning busking in Penzance as 17 year-olds, to performing at the Proms in Hyde Park, London, and at scores of festivals throughout the UK and Ireland.
Songwriter, comedian, raconteur and author Fred Smith joins forces with an all-star band including Liz Frencham and Carl Pannuzzo to present songs from his rich back catalogue and his new album "Great". The new album offers a wry interrogation of American history, politics and pathologies, while expressing Fred's deep love of American musical forms.
When Frets Patrick first heard the music of Blind Wille Johnson he picked up an acoustic and become obsessed with early roots music. Now after years of woodshedding Frets Patrick serves up a gumbo of fresh blues, gospel and folk with no artificial colours or flavours. www.fretspatrick.com.au
Frumious are a vibrant, high energy five piece from Hobart Tasmania. Borrowing from many styles and cultures, they combine folk, jazz and gypsy music to create a contemporary and original sound with many inspirations.
Georgia and Garry Rose are a family duo that features Golden Fiddle winner and FAA finalist 21-year old Georgia playing scintillating Celtic and Euro tunes, mesmerising airs, breathtaking jigs and reels. Garry's songs of vampires, immigrants, war, drovers and more will have you laughing, crying or singing along.
Georgia State Line is an Americana collective hailing from various parts of regional Victoria/NSW. Fronted by singer/songwriter Georgia Delves, the group released debut EP 'Heaven Knows', in July 2017, and were quickly labelled as one of ""Australia’s best up-and-coming” country acts – Art News Portal
Ghawazi Caravan bring together dancers from across Australia including Oreades, Gypsy Dreaming and Buasavanh to dazzle and mesmerise audiences with a lively and colourful display of tribal style bellydance showcasing the excitement of performers spontaneously collaborating with live musicians.
Incandescent vocals and musical brilliance. Noongar singer-songwriter rejoins forces with Guy Ghouse and friends to bring a new album of songs in Noongar language. Winner: 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 Indigenous Act of the Year (WA Music Industry Awards) & winner, 2017 West Australian of the Year Awards.
Glover & Sorrensen are just two blokes having a chat with the audience. Sounds safe enough, eh? But with these two comedians onstage at the same time it's twice the laughs, twice the unexpected - and twice the trouble. Bring a helmet.
Gobsmacked have now turned 21, but never really grown up! See Bertie & Louis blow the lid on what makes the world go round with their new "How Stuff Really Works" show. It's chock full of songs about the weird and wonderful, and the strange but true.
JUNO and four-time CFMA Award Winners, this Canadian trio delights with their uplifting three-part harmonies and beautiful song writing. Wielding mandolin, acoustic guitars and banjo, their witty on-stage banter and constant instrument swapping have been charming audiences all over the world.
Gordie MacKeeman exemplifies the term natural showman. An ace fiddle player nicknamed "crazy legs" for his frenetic loose-limbed step-dancing, he just loves to perform. Combine that exuberance and onstage dynamism with the stellar musicianship of his multi-instrumentalist comrades His Rhythm Boys, and you have an unstoppable roots music force.
17 years of songs of struggle and achievement of working people, original songs and two folk operas. Loveless in Hobart Town was performed at the National and Tolpuddle, England, Martyrs Folk Festivals. The Choir performed backing vocals for Billy Bragg in the documentary Death or Liberty in 2015.
Discovered wandering in the Blue Mountains, this man of many hats will have you wondering which voice is really his. Known for his rendition of 'The Man from Snowy River' and his adventures with sticky tape, this three-time Australian bush poetry champion brings characters to life.
The Gut Bucket Jug Band performed in the first three Nationals and is still wowing audiences with their unique fusion of traditional jug band music, blues and jazz, raunchy rhythms and infectious melodies to make your ears smile. Their sound is like a rare malt – a rich and truly satisfying experience.
Gippsland-born troubadour Harry Hookey mixes Dylan-esque wordplay, Weddings Parties sing-along stomp, and occasional country twang. His trio with respected Fremantle musicians Lucky Oceans and David Hyams was an instant hit on debut at Fairbridge 2017 and voted second most popular act by punters
Hat Fitz and Cara can in no way be mistaken for a dainty duo. They are festival favourites around the world. It has been said they pack more energy into one song than most have in an entire career. A unique combination of hill-style Gospel blues with old timey flavourings and stripped down to just voices, guitar and vintage drums. Launching their fourth album "After The Rain"
Inspired by the flavours of New Orleans to Fitzroy, this seven-piece street band take brass band music to a new level. Whether you love them for their New Orleans inspired street parties or their raucous stage shows, Horns of Leroy always deliver and have earned themselves a reputation to match.
Ian is a singer and musician, who champions the traditions of northeast Scotland and the English Pennines, especially carols. He is a professor at Aberdeen University and has written on traditional music and edited CDs of his field recordings. He is a member of Winster Morris and an expert on its history.
Singers from all over Australia will come together to entertain and delight the crowds with a delightful selection of music from across the centuries.
Jacqui Malins is a performance poet from Canberra whose words will amuse and beguile you, then take you by the throat. A finalist in the 2015 Australian Poetry Slam, and best walk-up poet at Woodford 2015, she has joined forces with cellist Julia Horvath for a new performance.
Joe Geia is a renowned singer/songwriter, guitarist, didgeridoo player and influential figure in the development of contemporary Indigenous music. His career has spanned over 30 years.
From Bidyadanga in WA's remote Kimberley country, John returns to the National with his new album 'Country is Calling' and sidemen David Hyams and Lucky Oceans.
Captivating songwriting, warm vocal harmonies and virtuoso Americana/bluegrass arrangements. John has been compared to James Taylor and Paul Kelly and described as "one of Australia's finest lyricists". The Trio deliver a dynamic live show varying from humorous and uplifting to moving and thoughtful.
Top teacher John will launch his Dancing through the Ages book series and, together with Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy players and dancers, make joining in on fantastic dances easy and fun.
Creators of Tripswitch which has been described as "acoustic Perfection" John McSherry & Donal O'Connor are regarded as the finest traditional Irish Uilleann Pipe & fiddle duet of their generation. Hailing from highly respected musical families in the North of Ireland, both have been touring internationally and recording from a young age. They will be joined by Niall Hanna on guitar and vocals.
John Peel is an award-winning performer of Australian bush poetry. John's repertoire covers a broad range, from fencing duels to fishing, Elvis and many subjects in between. From traditional bush ballads to his own humorous originals, you are bound to be entertained.
Festival favourite John Thompson returns to the National in partnership with Martin Pearson. John is also a member of the popular Cloudstreet and, from 2012–2013, performed the role of Song Man in the Australian Production of War Horse.
Canberra poet John Passant joins forces with “The Awesome” (singer/songwriter Mili Cifali and bass player Jim Horvath) and Indigenous artist poet Peter Swain on didgeridoo to create an unforgettable culturally diverse tapestry of song, spoken word and significant Indigenous poetry.
19 year old self taught Josh Maynard from Cowra NSW is a passionate and unique folk artists and at the age of 16 Josh became the Australian National Busking Champion. Josh is a passionate young lyricists in the making.
Jugularity has been entertaining audiences nationally and internationally for over 25 years. They combine brilliant musicianship with wonderful humour. Jugularity are the quintessential entertainers. Witness upbeat, irreverent, eclectic versions of folk, blues, rap, country and gypsy music. Jugularity is band for all times and all ages.
Jumptown Swings 'Jammers' are a high-energy swing dance troupe specialising in authentic dance styles from the 1920s to 1940s including the Lindy Hop, Charleston and authentic jazz. Their vibrant displays transport you back in time to the jumping dance halls of Harlem with their vintage style outfits.
Multi-award winning folkster Kaurna Cronin intertwines meaningful songs with a rich musical tapestry of folk, country and rock sewn together with grand imagery and tales of yesteryear. From ballads to boogies their unique folk blend will provide a thrilling musical and poetical journey.
He's mildly crazy perhaps, but this award-winning performance poet is also one of Australia’s leading folklorists. A mischievous and irreverent character, Keith interweaves original verse with bush poetry producing an amalgam of humour, satire and social comment which doesn't fit within coo-ee of any familiar stereotype.
La Busca is the passionate sound of an all female tango ensemble, backing the enigmatic Argentinean singer, Juan Veron de Astrada, who hails from the thriving Milonga scene of Buenos Aires. The sextet is a danceable, orchestral tango experience that plays traditional and Australian tangos.
A reciter of quirky and sometimes tall tales, Laurie McDonald thinks he's a bush poet but lives in the city. His poetry is more rhyme than reason, his imagination has issues (he thinks he won the Sydney-Hobart Race), and the world could well be better off if his poetic licence was confiscated.
Liam’s a 34 year old singer songwriter who’s toured his story songs and played guitar for artists through Europe, USA and Australia including Ryan Bingham, Paul Weller, Jason Isbell, Robbie Fulks and more. He’s released two albums and a book of original songs ‘Ukulele Songs By Kids For Kids’.
As a vocalist, Lindsay Lou falls into an elite category, along with her band of equally gifted musicians playing their own brand of Americana, Lindsay Lou is a not to be missed act on the festival stage.
A brilliant storyteller and recipient of the 2017 Lis Johnson Award for Vocal Excellence, Loren Kate's beautifully crafted songs are written and performed with an honesty and intimacy that is both humbling and inspiring.
Born and bred in Sydney's inner west, the Low Down Riders are a five-piece band inspired by the musical gumbo that is New Orleans street music.
By happy accident, Lucy Wise (ukulele) and Stephen Taberner (double bass) are both purveyors and aficionados of songs that mean something to them. Improbably, they are also capable of rendering them with the kind of perfect musical humanity that creates what might be called a near life experience.
"I'll Cry If I Want To" is the latest work from young Australian company; Madhouse Circus. We enter into a children's surprise birthday party, the place for glitter, tantrums, and laughs. Not the place for reserves or embarrassments. Games will be played and champions will be made but most of all we'll just be celebrating.
For the past thirty years, Marcia has sustained a diverse career as a professional musician, singer songwriter and backing singer, she has experienced firsthand the full breadth of live performance as a band member, bandleader and as a solo artist. Marcia released her EP, Nashville Sessions with her band at the 40th Port Fairy Folk Festival where she was named Maton, Artist of the year, 2016.
Martin is growing an epic beard to protest the Trump presidency. By Easter, it should be down to the knees or gone forever (much like the rest of the planet).
One word comes to mind... Australia. The Australia we should be. The Martins have strengths and passions of writers committed to social justice with an undeniable sense of real community.
At just 16 years of age, Matilda Rose has written many powerfully emotive and insightful songs showing a maturity well beyond her years. The recent recording and release of her first EP has been an incredibly exciting time for her, along with performing this year for the third time at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Maypole with Molly enjoy sharing music and dance with kids. Their interactive and energetic dance sessions encompass music from Mozart along with Austrian influences from accordionist Molly (Erika Cleaver). Adults are invited to join the kids to create intricate ribbon patterns or play percussion.
Coral Eden, as part of The Melbourne Colonial Dancers, is committed to helping people learn the basics of dancing and therefore to develop skills to become confident to attend Dances and Balls and to continue dancing after the NFF.
From original songs and haunting airs, to high-octane jigs, reels and strathspeys, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club's music is as diverse as their membership; with members from 8 to 78 playing music from Shetland to Glasgow, Ullapool to Inverness, with hints of Scandi, Quebecois and Cape Breton.
Violinist Rachel Meyers and accordionist Dave McNamara boldly combine Klezmer and Jewish music with experimental instrumentals and original compositions. Marrying classical folkloric melodies with achingly intricate arrangements, they have delighted audiences from some of Europe's liveliest bars and music festivals to the wettest, coldest and darkest street corners.
Raconteur, troubadour, balladeer and poet, Mick Thomas is best known as the song master of pub-rock icons Weddings Parties Anything. His band The Roving Commission features Squeezebox Wally on Piano Accordion and a rotating schedule of talented performers to keep the party alive with Micks unique mix of folk, roots and country.
Miriam writes and performs mostly on kora (African harp) and guitar. She brings to it her own contemporary sensibilities and unmistakable voice. With songs carrying a feminine perspective reminiscent of Joni Mitchell infused with the rhythms of West Africa and the soaring string and vocal accompaniment of Lara Goodridge on violin and Liz Frencham on cello.
Monique Clare is a cello-wielding songstress, hailing from the foothills of Mount Coot-tha. Between ongoing explorations into Scandinavian and American traditional folk, a classical cello degree and a Radiohead obsession, her beautifully quirky songs are a melting pot of eclectic influences.
Kathak is a classical dance style which originated in Northern India. The word Kathak is derived from katha, meaning "a story", and hence the word Kathak means a storyteller. It means emotive storytelling through hands and facial expressions. Kathak encompasses the divine beauty of yoga and mudras.
The songwriting genius of David Bridie combined with the glorious strings of Helen Mountfort's cello and Hope Csutoros' violin are high in the curious collision of elements that have made My Friend The Chocolate Cake a popular concert draw, triple ARIA winners and a vivid presence on countless film and TV soundtracks these last two and a half decades.
Nariel Creek Folk Festival is the longest running folk festival in Australia. Nestled in a valley near the Snowy Mountains, the Nariel Dances have kept to traditions that have long died out in our bigger country towns. Come and experience the fun of a real old time dance!
Come and PLAY some music! The NFF Percussion Experience welcomes all - from beginners to skilled, from kids to adults. Join Peter Vadiveloo, Bella Vadiveloo and Binni Haydon for four fun rehearsals to create a magical percussion piece for this year's Finale concert. Don't have a drum? Don't worry, we'll give you something to play!
A quiet master of the bittersweet, literate story-song, Nick will match his high heart-tugging voice with a Rogue's Gallery of top-notch Canberra country-folk players. Every colour of longing and loss, now in warm singalong form!
Northern Confluence's high energy, contemporary sound and irresistible rhythm, and Jeanette Mill's immaculate calling, create contra dance euphoria. Miche Baker-Harvey, passionate contra dance fiddler, teacher and calle/dabr from Seattle (now Sydney), is known for her strongly rhythmic and lively style.
Hailing from Albury, NSW and now based in Melbourne, The Northern Folk are a collective of eleven musical ambitionists spreading their unique brand of folk/pop/stomp/rock into the roots of small towns and big cities alike, with two lead vocalists framed by roaring brass and multi-layered harmonies.
Obsidian Bellydance performs 'fusion bellydance', dancing to an eclectic mix of music and drawing from a wide range of bellydance traditions. Obsidian is well known for dancing down a darker, more industrial path, but are cheeky, colourful and fun when dancing in the light.
Paddy McHugh comes from the Paul Kelly school of song writing in that simplicity is key and everyday life makes the best stories. His sound exhibits a strong country blueprint, bolstered by the man's blooming song writing skill as he tells tales of life most real. Paddy will perform at the festival with his full band.
This Songwriter and one-time relentless Troubadour has mellowed with time: The wear and tear of countless gigs, tours and 8 albums (one of which an ARIA finalist for best Blues and Roots album) have seen Greene wear a comfy spot on the songwriters’ stool. Songwriting from the soul Beautifully delivered with honesty, integrity and wit.
Peter is a performance bush poet and writer who has entertained audiences at most of the country's major festivals and poetry competitions including The Gympie Muster, Tamworth, Woodford, Port Fairy and The National Folk Festival.
Alan Musgrove and Robert Stephens are The Pie Eaters who play Australian traditional music with a gritty rootsy edge. Energetic fiddle and piano duets as well as accordion, guitar and vocals.
An outlandish vagabond from another world. Specialising in nautical nonsense and sea shanty shenanigans, Pirateman brings a treasure trove of talent anywhere he goes! From crystal ball "contact juggling", LED circus arts and puppet characters quite literally hiding in his sleeves, Pirateman is sure to leave land lubbers bewildered with delight!
Occasionally poets of varying species leave their tribes and come together to perform in their wildly (okay, sometimes mildly) differing poetic styles. Come and hear this collection of poets together in peaceful coexistence
The working collective of two brothers, Rhys & Kai are joined by a third spiritual brother, Isaac. The Quick & The Dead combine elements of hard rock with a blues sound to deliver a masterpiece musical fusion. With their third self-titled release under their belt, this is an act unlike any other in Australia right now.
The Raglins bring a contemporary approach to traditional folk songs reinterpreting old Australian and Celtic ballads and showcasing them with fresh, innovative arrangements. With Robert Hillman on guitar/vocals and Hannah Pelka on vocals, their storytelling and sublime harmonies will transport you.
The Royal High Jinx write, play & sing music inspired by European traditions, shaded with gypsy jazz, Klezmer & a pinch of classical virtuosity, while sporting a spectacular burlesque wardrobe. Launching their critically acclaimed album, "The Wheel of Poor Choices," this is a High Jinx show not to be missed!
Boasting a wealth of diverse musical experience, Ryan & Emily's compositions, both instrumental and lyrical, on fiddle, bouzouki, guitar and stomp-box, blend Celtic with contemporary, traditional with original as Emily adds her majestic fiddle mastery to Ryan's cerebral and cynical songwriting.
Acoustic-duo Ryanhood got their start as street-performers at Boston's Quincy Market. And now, twelve years after their street start, Ryanhood's star is still on the rise as they were named "Best Group/Duo" in the 2014 International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMAs). They currently reside in their hometown of Tucson, AZ, where they have won more than a dozen Tucson Music Awards including "Best Folk Band" and "Best Rock Band" (you can decide for yourself which is most accurate).
Salmiakki Pelimannit (Salty Licquorice Folk Musicians) formed in 1996 to accompany Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Estonian dance groups. The band has performed in Denmark, Finland and Sweden and with groups from those countries in Australia. We have an extensive repertoire of tunes from the Northern countries and in past years have shared these with Australian Musicians at various workshops.
Sandra Renew uses poetry forms to present social and political critique and commentary on contemporary global issues.
Santa Taranta plays a mix of original and traditional tunes inspired by Southern Italian music, with a set list comprising tarantellas, pizzica and Italian polkas, accompanied by a storm of four-part harmonies and stomping rhythms. Their first album will be launched during the Festival.
The Bush Music Club's Sapling program for young musicians and would-be musicians aged 8-16 gives them the experience and enjoyment of playing Australian collected music in a relaxed atmosphere with expert bush musicians as tutors, using their own acoustic instruments or ours!
sCanDans is the Canberra Nordic Folk Dance Group with a growing repertoire from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Focusing on social dance, it encourages newcomers of all ages with personal tuition as needed. They are accompanied by Newcastle's Nordic dance band Salmiakki Pelimannit.
True to their namesake Scroggin are a mix of delightful morsels. Australiana, Bluegrass, and Western Swing, and a sprinkling of Country and others in between, they embrace the contradictions of traditional music in the new age; country music for city folk, and old fashioned songs for a modern world.
Gaelic for "lore, old tales, tradition" . They unlock the secrets shrouded in the music and stories of the past - murder ballads, songs of revenge, lively Bard songs, beautiful and tender love songs and toe tapping, skirt-swirling fiddle tunes. Pronounced Shenehas.
The Session Experience provide a welcoming environment particularly targeted to those of all ages just beginning to play their instrument with others.
Canberra's own Set Dancing display group performing traditional and contemporary sets from Ireland plus some of their own original choreographed sets as well. Fine dancing to lively infectious tunes from the emerald isle played by some of the finest musicians in the genre.
Silkweed is known and loved for historically themed, hauntingly insightful performances. Using original compositions, poetry, narrative and archival footage, the ensemble takes its audiences back to important and fascinating events in Tasmania's history.
Continuing the celebration of Australian songs established at the National Folk Festival by the late Dennis O'Keeffe, singer/songwriter and longtime mate of the NFF. This is an open invitation to come along each day and sing great Australian songs.
Souleiado is an accomplished and unique French dance group of men, women and children performing traditional, lively dances from the French countryside - this year from Provence. Dancing in costume from Grasse from 1830s, they are accompanied by music recorded in Provence on traditional instruments.
Sparrow-Folk are Australia's own "sirens of satire" and the only confirmed glam-folk band. Combining heavenly harmonies and cheeky lyrics, Sparrow-Folk are the adorakable queens of the overshare - prepare to be delightfully shocked.
Sweeten your festival experience with elegant ballads and vibrant dance tunes from Jackie Luke (hammered dulcimer & voice) Greg Wilson (harp, accordion) and Rita Woolhouse (cello)."The three Springtide performers are masters on their instruments, each taking their turn to wow us. There was humour, toe-tapping, beauty and tragedy" (2016 NZ tour).
Squeebz are a band of Melbourne based musicians with a wealth of experience playing and performing Celtic music. With a fresh approach to interpreting traditional Irish, Cape Breton, Québécois and Breton music, this configuration of award winning musicians will deliver high-energy tunes and songs.
Steve Poltz is not normal. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) but has lived most of his life in Southern California and those geographic poles are quite likely responsible for his unhinged genius. Steve Poltz positively owns a crowd when he's on stage. His shows are the stuff of legend. He can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room.
Anna Bailey from String Bean Puppets is a New Zealand puppeteer. Emerging from well traveled suitcases her intimate and interactive puppet shows have entranced audiences around the world.
Super Circus Squad is a superhero origin story written by YOU the audience. This show is completely interactive. It follows the journey of 2 new superheroes who need you to determine their powers, their fears, their strengths and their weaknesses in order to defeat their super villain...the audience VILLAINTEER!
The Surly Griffins are Canberra's local Morris side. They aim to challenge the neatly defined conventions of Morris by bringing together the best of Border and Cotswold styles with a dollop of Yorkshire Longsword for good measure.
Having been compared to both Adele and Florence and the Machine by Pure M, Susan O’Neill from Ireland has, so early in her career, picked up many fans including U2s Bono. Her solo performances are literally mind-blowing. The amazing range of her gritty vocal combined with her superb guitar technique, her loop pedals and trumpet, make for a truly unforgettable musical experience.
The Sydney Irish Dancers is arguably Australia's premier Irish dance performance group. Steeped in the tradition for the past sixty years these dancers, accompanied by their talented resident musicians, entertain with vigor and style.
For 15 years the Tango Social Club of Canberra has offered opportunities to learn and enjoy Argentine Tango. It provides displays of tango at events such as the Multicultural Festival, Ausdance Dance Week, and CAP Expo, demonstrating the variety of music and dance of this major urban folk tradition.
With fiddle, mandolin, accordion and guitar and four gloriously harmonious voices The Tassie Devil's Own have performed their mix of contemporary and Traditional folk at festivals around Australia and in New Zealand.
Martin Reese, Chris Clarkson and Davydd McDonald and Christian Rizzalli join forces to create an exciting fusion of rhythm and beat. With an array of influences, they aim to produce an authentic and modern take on the Celtic genre.
Transforming tradition with vigor, curiosity, humour and spark, this trio from Prince Edward Island wielding bodhran, acoustic guitar and violin plays seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative and wildly entertaining music.
Teri and Randal share songs about Tasmanian characters and communities, love, and human interactions with wilderness. With their heart and humour, a swag of instruments, and their graceful voices, they'll sweep audiences into their beautiful story world.
Celebrating 20 years of playing together, Trouble in the Kitchen return to the National with a new CD & fresh repertoire of their powerhouse firebrand take on Irish traditional music. Dancing shoes required!
Truman Smith is an emerging singer/songwriter who, together with his six-piece band, is bent on give-all performances. His writing blends a love of classic melody-driven pop with a fresh and folky flavour of production.
TSDAV has run a Dance Composer's Competition since 1980. Come and try the dances yourself to see if you agree with the judges! The dances are instructed, danced by you, and judged in this session, and awards are given for the best General Social Dance and the best Dance for More Experienced Dancers.
Tyler's Oz is the Australian offshoot of Tyler's Men, hailing from Blackheath, London, SE8, performing Morris dancing in the Border style.
This is a community choir with a little difference, i.e. the ukulele difference. Three to four-part harmony arrangements of songs accompanied by the uke. It's a rich vocal sound with an underpinning of arpeggios and riffs. A touch of comedy is also thrown in to keep the audience on their toes!
URoC is Canberra's largest Community music group featuring the beautiful little uke and its magic. We regularly jam and have entertained audiences all over Canberra and at festivals around Australia including Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney and has regularly hosted the uke muster at the NFF.
Often mistaken for a family band, Velvet Sledgehammer have now been singing together for almost seven years. Despite a 46-year age-gap between its oldest and youngest members, the inter-generational trio produces a surprisingly magical blend of what critics have described as "stunning harmonies".
Combined musician and dance callers performing collected Victorian, Tasmanian dances and tunes for The Heritage Ball
Well Hall English Dancers based in Melbourne perform graceful and intricate country dances from the 17th century to modern times. The dances illustrate the diversity of patterns, styles and music from past centuries including Playford & Regency periods & for his centenary last year Pat Shaw dances.
The Western Flyers are churning out authentic Western swing, hot jazz, vintage country & electrifying Texas fiddle tunes. A singular musical experience and fresh take on a venerable American art form performed by three virtuosos of the genre. "Somewhere, Bob Wills is smiling" - No Depression
Will-o-the-Wisp originally started in Canberra, trained their circus skills in New Zealand and are now based in Western Australia! The team perform a range of exquisite stilt walking characters, and walkabout circus skills. Check out the Festival streets daily to see some fantastic Aussie circus.
With their finely textured arrangements WÖR injects new energy into 18th-century tunes from the Flanders region of Belgium. Their music shines an inventive spotlight, with a modern twist on tunes from the masters.
Balancing delicacy with boldness, tender songwriting with A1 harmonies and musicality with a nod to tradition and indie-pop inflection, the Young Folk share an unmistakable Irish heritage in both sound and ancestry. Their 2018 tour will feature the release of their latest CD, "Live at Memo".
With a style that lends from somewhere in between folk, pop and blues he utilises soulful vocals, blues influenced harmonica, unique percussive guitar styles and foot mounted percussion to achieve a sound far larger than the quantity of his band members.